We all have our likes and dislikes when it comes to food, whether it’s broccoli over green beans, how much salt to use, or how we like our steak to be cooked.
But if we have a problem with how someone is cooking for us, we still shouldn’t say something demeaning towards them, especially in front of guests, challenged the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor foodandfather realized her father didn’t seem to get the memo, as he repeatedly spoke out against his wife’s cooking while they had guests in the house.
Angry on her mother’s behalf, the Original Poster (OP) spoke up for her.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for telling my father that if he had a problem with the food my mom made, he should just make it himself next time?”
The OP’s father was critical at the latest family dinner.
“My (18 Female) family had guests (distant relatives) over today for dinner.”
“As usual, my mom had to make all the dishes, without my father helping in anything.”
“My father sat down with the guests to eat, but as soon as he ate a bite or two, he said that he didn’t like the dish and it wasn’t good.”
“He just said it in front of the guests, not even bothering to wait until they left. The guests said that they all liked the food though.”
“However, it didn’t just end there. He tried another dish and said that was not good either and there was something missing.”
“He also said stuff like, ‘What did you do today?'”
“I also had the same food, and everything was delicious.”
The criticism continued after the guests had left.
“Skip over to after the guests left and my father told my mom again that she’d done something wrong with the food and it wasn’t as good as it usually would be.”
“My mom was visibly upset and at this point, I was angry as well.”
The OP decided to speak up.
“He was the only one who had an issue, so I told him that if he had such a problem with the food, he should just make it next time.”
“He got very p**sed and said that I was being disrespectful for talking to him that way and he was just stating his opinion.”
“My brother also agreed with him saying this was no way to talk to my father.”
But the OP believed she had done the right thing.
“The thing is, this isn’t the first time he’s done this and I’m sick of him complaining that the food isn’t good in front of guests.”
“He never helps, and the food is great 99% of the time and no one else has a problem with it.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said the father behaved inappropriately, not the OP.
“NTA. Your father tried to humiliate your mom in front of guests. The guests enjoyed the food and were probably thinking, ‘What a jerk!’ when he did it.
“I’m sure the guests were extremely uncomfortable when he began insulting her. He not only tried to embarrass your mom but made the guests uncomfortable with his criticisms.” – First_Bumblebee_179
“I really hope your mom knows that those guests did not look at her in embarrassment but at Dad. He may have tried to tear her down, but I’m also sure that those guests were blindsided by that level of rudeness.” – Katyecat
“NTA. Your father is a major AH. It seems he’s been putting your mom down for a long time. She needed you to stand up for her. He needs to wake up and realize what he has.” – FakenFrugenFrokkels
“It seems to be something that OPs dad enjoys on a recurring basis seeing as he seems to only do it when guests are over.”
“OP’s dad needs to pull his head out of his butt, drag himself out of the 1950s, leave his ‘head of the household’ attitude there, and realize that it’s not good or respectful to put his wife down in front of others.” – danigirl3698
“This has nothing to do with food, and everything about your father needing to go on power trips when guests are over. He thinks he is being viewed as manly by putting his woman in her place. NTA.” – shadow-foxe
“Your father is an AH. And your brother too.”
“Because of ‘tradition,’ there is this idea that you are supposed to respect your father and not talk to him like that ‘just because.’ This has enabled awful behavior for ages, and molds new abusers and victims of abuse.”
“Respect is earned not gifted away. He doesn’t deserve respect in that situation.”
“Just don’t let the anger get the best of you. Probably saying the same without being angry or making a joke like, ‘Okay, now let’s try what you made for our guests?’ could work just the same and you don’t get mad.”
“Are you sure your father doesn’t act that way in other areas? Doesn’t he put her down frequently? Does he ever get physical? Because has all the traits to do so.”
“Also, he said he was just stating the truth, a truth that no one agreed to. But you can use that against him, and show him how awful it feels. ‘Well, considering everyone liked it but you, you obviously have bad taste. I am just saying the truth based on empirical evidence.'”
“Do you live with your parents? Because the one issue with antagonizing this guy is if he the is left alone with your mom, he could continue his abuse as retaliation.” – Skylightk23
Others suggested challenging the father at the dinner table in the future.
“Every time dad pretends that the food doesn’t taste as good, OP should question whether he has the virus and make him have to justify himself.”
“I would say each time, ‘Oh well everyone thinks it tastes great, maybe there’s something off with your taste buds? You should see a doctor for that, maybe you are positive?'”
“Phrase it so it comes off as caring for him, but what it will hopefully do is eventually shut him up since each time it happens, you question his health instead of arguing with or validating him.” – Low-Assistance9231
“NTA – you did good! Congratulations you unlocked ‘sticking up for people to AH.'”
“And your brother sounds like he just wants father’s approval. Point it out next time, and be like, ‘Wow, you want dad’s approval so much you are missing the point that he talks to mother terribly.'” – Alex-LeMonte
“He was demeaning your mom in front of guests. This required a retort. Although pointing out what was wrong is a better response.”
“He was making his guests uncomfortable. If he thinks in any way, shape, or form. That they commend his critique. He’s dead wrong. They think less of him for acting in such a disgraceful manner in front of them. By debasing her, he was debasing himself. She worked hard on the meal.” – Velocityg4
“NTA – this is exactly the way to talk to somebody like your father. (Fair warning: an a**hole like that will punish you for speaking that truth, so it is up to you if it is worth it, especially if you are a dependent.)”
“But if your guests were not also power playing a**holes, I guarantee they were thinking the same thing about him.” – JudgeJudAITA
“NTA. I live in a multi-generational household (Mother- and Father-In-Law; 2 Brothers-in-Law, Dear Husband, and me; my toddler).”
“Since toddler eats almost everything we do, and MIL is the one that cooks all meals (that’s how chores are divided), she tends to under-season everything that toddler will eat (basically just less salt than she would normally put).”
“It doesn’t make the food bland, she makes it in big batches, and I’m just thankful for a home-cooked meal every day that’s delicious and just needs a touch of salt to make it to my taste.”
“The only one who has a problem with this is Dear Husband, and it really p**ses me off (worth to note, he’s an amazing cook himself, like AMAZING).”
“Every time he complains I just say, ‘There’s the stove, pots are in the pantry, and you know where the ingredients are. If you don’t like it, make something that you do.'”
“It always shuts him up. You were right to shut him down.” – EdgarsLover
While the OP had her father and brother working against her, the subReddit insisted she was right to stand up for her mother. If her father couldn’t be grateful for someone else cooking every night, he had other options, including learning how to cook and ordering takeout.
The father may have begun to create more problems than he ever wished for, as well, as he likely has hosted some guests who were not too happy to discover how he treats his very own wife.